Latasha McCleskey. (Photo: Montgomery County Jail)

Mother wants justice for daughter, 13, struck with baseball bat 

“I was lost for words for an adult to even strike a child like that with a baseball bat ... it was just outrageous,” said Bonnie Knight in Dayton on Friday evening. “She was continuously striking, continuously striking.”

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The woman shown on tape, identified by Dayton police as Latasha McCleskey, 33, of Dayton, was arrested but has since been released from the Montgomery County Jail. McCleskey on Friday evening said she didn’t want to comment about the incident.

The teen’s family say they want justice.

“I will not stop until she is in jail,” Knight said.

Her daughter, 13-year-old Keila Harvey, was walking from the park back to the group home where she’s staying on Otterbein Avenue when she got into a fight with another girl her age who lives nearby. That’s when the other girl’s mother came out with a metal baseball bat while a neighbor recorded the incident.

Knight said she was told no one will prosecute the case because McCleskey was protecting her own daughter, and that she is astounded by this.

“She’s way bigger than my child and she’s an adult ... clearly it was two kids fighting and the adult thing to do would have been to break up the fight ... instead of using a weapon on the 13-year-old and struck her in the head with it.”

Knight said she has hired an attorney and has reached out to the mayors of Dayton and Cincinnati and is urging prosecutors to file charges in the case.

“At the end of the day, you don’t pick up a bat for a child,” she said.

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